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Report: James Harden turned down 2-year, $103 million extension from Rockets

Rockets, James Harden, Nets

James Harden turned down a two-year, $103 million extension from the Houston Rockets, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Harden wants to get traded to the Brooklyn Nets so he can play with his friends, two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

After turning down the chance to become the first $50 million a year player in league history, Houston Rockets All-NBA guard James Harden has made it clear to ownership that he’s singularly focused on a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.

As Harden’s conversations with the Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ramped up in recent weeks on the West Coast, sources say the Rockets made a pitch for him to sign the maximum allowable extension — two years and $103 million on top of the remaining three years, $133 million on his current deal.

Harden has never made it to the NBA Finals during his run with the Rockets. He’s gotten to the Western Conference Finals two times, losing to the Golden State Warriors on both occasions.

In 2019-20, Harden averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game for the Rockets. He shot 44.4 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from beyond the arc and 86.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Harden has led the NBA in scoring the past two seasons. He was also the MVP in 2018.

If the Nets acquire Harden, they would have a lethal Big Three of Durant, Irving and Harden, three of the best scorers and playmakers in NBA history. It’s going to be fascinating to see if the Rockets trade Harden to the Nets, who will be coached by two-time MVP Steve Nash next season.

Since entering the NBA, Harden has compiled averages of 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Rockets.